Re: All is number

From: Simon Gordon (
Date: Fri Aug 13 2004 - 07:37:14 MDT

 --- "J. Andrew Rogers" <>
> On Aug 12, 2004, at 7:45 PM, Simon Gordon wrote:
> > This goes against the grain of what i was saying.
> > There are no details. The fairlytale is only
> described
> > in words; we cannot construct a computer program
> if we
> > dont know the math behind it, that is obvious.
> The entire fairytale is reducible to the information
> content of the
> words used to describe it. Nothing more, nothing
> less. A nice finite
> pattern of bits for which there is an entire field
> of mathematics to
> deal with it.

What you have said is 100% assumption. There is
currently no known way of reducing the "information
content of the words" into a nice piece of finite
mathematics. Nor is there any reason to believe there
will ever be a way to do this; see my previous
argument about an infinite set of possible minds
interacting with the word abstract or the fairytale

> Every conceivable description of anything you can
> imagine in this
> universe is reducible to a tidy mathematical
> algorithm.

You have a failure to acknowledge that Numerocentric
reductionism, in the extreme form as applied to ALL
things, might be wrong. We are not talking about just
this universe, "All" is more inclusive than that.

> This includes
> all notions you may have about other universes where
> math doesn't
> apply.

I agree that my notions of whatever it is i am
describing are inherently mathematical, because i am a
neural pattern. But you are thinking like a robot
without any understanding of the word "mu" or the
ability to see outside your own formal systems. Im not
talking about *my notions* of anything, im talking
about the actual abstractions of those notions, namely
the fairytale universes. To limit them to just being
*my notions* is to see just one perspective on them,
using a single formal system, its not seeing outside
the box. You are commiting the fallacy of a machine
that says "cannot compute", "cannot compute"
repeatedly when faced with a seemingly impossible
object or "koan".

> What you are really saying is "let's pretend
> math doesn't apply
> to this universe so that I can imagine another
> universe in which math
> doesn't apply", which is what this distills down to
> if you haven't
> figured it out yet.

Math does apply. But so does language. If math was the
simplest explanation for anything then why wouldnt we
use it on a day to day basis to make rational
arguments? Its funny how over 99% of sl4 posts are
coposed entirely of words. It turns out that the
simplest way to explain most human situations is to
use natural language. Language is a code, just as math
is a code, and things can manifest from language too.
Generally speaking, humans compute in language not
math. Though we often try to reduce our rational
arguments to pure logic and math, quite often the task
is too complex for us to complete, and may even be
theoretically impossible. The idea that all the
manifestions of our conscious understandings are
theoretically reducible to math is an ASSUMPTION.

> You can no more imagine a world where mathematics
> doesn't apply than
> you can imagine the number pi.

Let me make my position clear, i am
numero-reductionist in the sense that i believe that
*this* universe is entirely reducible to math. But
that does not rule out the possibility that there are
other more holistic levels of explanation accesible to
complex beings like ourselves with complex neural
wirings capable of organising patterns into emergent
hierarchies, indeed language is one such example of a
holistic level of explanantion. There is no reason to
believe that our brain has to convert natural language
into numbers in order to process it, this would
probably be too inefficient to be feasible on a human
timescale anyway.

I find it more acceptable to say that "All is
information" rather than "All is number" because
although i can conceive of abstract entities which are
not reducible to number, i cannot currently conceive
of anything which cannot in some way be thought of as
information. Though the fact that i can contemplate
this suggests to me that i shouldnt rule it out.
Certainly fairytales can be thought of as information,
on that we can both agree.

Simon Gordon.


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